Landing Gear, 2013

Landing Gear is an interactive multimedia installation about early motherhood told through the clothes we wear. Through a combination of documentary audio, photographs, text, collage and an antique wardrobe trunk, viewers are invited to explore the contributing mothers’ stories and share their own.

The piece grew out of a series of workshops with a group of mothers at the Harbourfront Community Centre in Toronto, ON. I asked the mothers to dig into their closets. What did they used to wear before they became mothers that they still hang on to, and what do they wear the most now? What are the stories behind these pieces of clothing and accessories and what does it say about what has changed and how they feel about those changes? We interviewed and recorded each other, and I photographed the individual pieces of clothing using a flatbed scanner.

For the final installation, I created an immersive environment with surround sound that made the audience feel as if they were in an airport, just landed in Motherland. The centerpiece of the installation was the refurbished wardrobe trunk. Viewers were invited to touch the trunk, and when someone opened one of the drawers, it triggered the stories the women had shared. Each drawer held different audio, on different themes, ranging from comfort to freedom to sex. The images of the clothing paired with text from the interviews were printed on fabric and hung on white hangers from the ceiling. Collaged Motherland luggage tags created by the participants were draped on vintage luggage throughout the gallery.  The original Motherland Postcard Rack became the Motherland Customs Card rack, where visiting mothers could contribute their stories of passage into Motherland.

Below are some samples of a few of the stories from the trunk:

 

Landing Gear is a Greetings From Motherland project.